Ana Valero and Sergey Smirnov work together since 2013. They regularly perform across The Netherlands, including appearances in Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, De Doelen in Rotterdam (during Dutch Classical Talent and a Dutch Viola Society events) the Statenzaal in Zwolle and the Muziekcentrum in Enschede, among many others venues.
Through a selection of different programs, chosen among the beautiful viola and piano chamber music repertoire, the experience can be diverse. Proposals span from Spanish virtuoso repertoire and tangos to 20th-century lyricism including works by Hindemith, Britten and Bartók, French cabaret inspiration with Poulenc and other French composers, or pure romanticism from Brahms to Schumann.
Award-winning violist Ana Valero offers chamber music concerts on a regular basis, having performed in countries like Russia, Spain, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Slovakia, Croatia, Sweden, and Italy. Currently, she combines her performing career with her viola teacher position at the International School of The Hague and her collaboration with orchestras like Sinfonia Rotterdam and Camerata Amsterdam.
Born in Huesca, Spain, she started her musical education at the age of six. In 2008, she graduated from Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Aragon (Zaragoza, Spain) under the guidance of Alan Kovacs, and Casals Quartet, obtaining the highest grades in Viola and Chamber Music. She received her Master’s degree in The Netherlands, having studied under Julia Dinerstein and Mikhail Kugel. In 2015, she coursed an additional year at The Royal Conservatory of The Hague with Mikhail Zemtsov. She has also taken master classes with Lawrence Power, Maxim Risanov, Alexander Zemtsov, Lawrence Dutton and Gordan Nikolic among others.
Since 2009, she obtained awards in several international competitions; like the first prize at the International Competition Anemos in Rome in 2011, first prize at the International Music Competition in Belgrade in 2014, the absolute prize at Don Vicenzo Vitti International Competition in Italy in 2014 and 2nd prize at London Grand Prize Virtuoso in 2015 among others.
Since 2016, she plays a Dupont bow, courtesy of Dutch Foundation Eigenmuziekinstrument.
The pianist Sergey Smirnov was born in Minsk, Belarus, in 1980. He graduated from the Music College of the Belarusian Academy of Music in 1998 and continued his studies at the Music Academy in Minsk with Yuri Gildiuk. In 2003 Sergey came to The Netherlands to continue his education with Naum Grubert at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. In 2006, he obtained his Master of Music degree as a solo piano performer. In between, Sergey participated in master-classes with such eminent mentors as Viktor Merzhianov, Charles Rosen, Stefan Vladar, Igor Roma and Jacques Rouvier.
Sergey’s creative output is very high. His numerous recitals and chamber performances represent a vast repertoire, ranging from the baroque to contemporary music. Between 1990 and 2015, Sergey has played at concerts in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Slovakia, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, France, England, Japan, and India, and he has performed as a soloist in concertos by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Grieg, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich and Gershwin with several chamber and symphony orchestras. Sergey has also appeared at various festivals including “Grachtenfestival” and “Uitmarkt” in Amsterdam, “Festival Classique” and “Steve Reich Festival” in The Hague, “Peter de Grote Festival” in Groningen, “Operadagen” in Rotterdam, “Les Concerts du Cloître” in Nice, “Le Printemps de Lady Mond” in Belle-Isle-en-Terre.
Sergey Smirnov has been awarded many prizes in numerous international competitions, such as International High School Music Competition in Takasaki (Japan) and Porto International Piano Competition (Portugal), to name a few.